Thoughtful Thor’s Day – Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

The other day while working with the Dark Goddess Tarot I drew Tefnut/6 of Water. She is associated with dew and rain and simple pleasures. This got me to thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve allowed myself to enjoy simple pleasures.

Don’t get me wrong, I can find plenty of ways to waste my time on a daily basis such as sitting in front the television and staring mindlessly at the screen. However it’s been a while since I’ve really been able to lose myself in a book or spend time playing with my dolls. Tefnut reminded me that these are the things that make life enjoyable – small, everyday pleasures that bring joy and contentment into our lives. So today I thought I’d share some of my simple pleasures with anyone out there who might read this post and maybe encourage them to spend some time reconnecting with their own simple pleasures.

One of my earliest remembered simple pleasures is reading books. I can clearly remember how excited I was to receive a few Dr. Seuss books as a child. I’m sure I had Golden Books too but the Dr. Seuss ones were special because they came in the mail (thus beginning my life long love of online shopping ;D). My mother had signed me up for a Dr. Seuss book club and I remember how much I loved those books – Green Eggs & Ham, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’ ABC – all were beloved and read over and over again. As I got older I remember losing myself in my local library and bookstore for hours. I remember how S.E. Hinton’s books impacted me. I remember such bizarre titles as Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack and If I Love You Am I Trapped F

Forever. I remember discovering Lois Duncan’s tales of horror and suspense. Let us not forget Judy Blume’s amazing tomes for teens. I still remember the subtle subversive sense of rebellion the girls in my 7th grade class felt reading Forever and referring to “Ralph”, much to the confusion of our male classmates and teacher. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself was my first remembered exposure to the Holocaust. Are You There God it’s Me, Margaret was the first time I grasped what puberty and menstruation were all about (thank you Sheila Mayberry for recommended this classic). I’ve recently determined to reread these books because I have such fond memories of them.

I’ve also found some new authors to love and treasure. I just finished Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons and I’m currently reading Cruddy. Her book What It Is reminds me of a darker, snarkier SARK, which is right up my alley. I’ve always had a fondness for historical romances (well-written ones anyway which is still somewhat hard to come by). Once I find an author whose works I enjoy I will stick with them until they’ve disappointed me over several books. One bad book isn’t enough to deter me. I love books that take me to another place and make me feel for the characters. I still remember crying my heart out at the end of Patricia Kennealy-Morrison’s Hedge of Mist, the final book in her trilogy about King Arthur. Judith McNaught’s and Elizabeth Lowell’s historical romances often bring to tears as their tortured heroes and feisty heroines battle with each other in search of love. Stephen King, Dean Koontz and H.P. Lovecraft all scare me and fill me with vague terror at what lies hidden beneath the veneer of civilization. There are many more books and authors I could mention but I think I’ve made my point.

Another simple pleasure I’ve always enjoyed is coloring. I’ve never considered myself especially artistic but I still using my box of 64 Crayola crayons to color images in coloring books. I’ve always loved it. In fact I can think of fewer fragrances as enticing as a newly opened box of Crayola crayons (cheaper ones just don’t have the same aroma). It brings me right back to my childhood. I even still have some older Barbie coloring books that I occasionally pull out and lose myself in bringing color to the black and white pages. I used to have a fondness for color by number paint sets as well but even as a child I often found that the paint would dry up on me before I managed to finish painting.

Yet another simple pleasure I’ve always enjoyed is playing with fashion dolls – especially Barbie. She’s taken quite a hit over the years for her alleged negative impact on young girls’ self-esteem but as a child I saw Barbie as a gateway to possibilities. Barbie wasn’t married. She didn’t have kids. She was a free, independent female who could spend time with Ken if she chose or hang out with her buddies. She could be an executive, a doctor, an astronaut or a model and if she could be those things then so could I. I still remember my first Barbie – a Malibu Barbie I got when I was 6. Over the years I added a few others Barbies (Quick Curl and Superstar) as well as other dolls (does anyone else remember Tuesday Taylor?). I even got a Barbie dollhouse one year – it folded up into a cube shape and when opened became a 3 room house with very mod furniture. I eventually lost interest in Barbie as boys and friends took prominence. Then one day while working at a recreation center I was faced with a distraught young boy who had received a Barbie doll by mistake at the center’s Christmas party. I happened to have a brand new football in my office and offered it to the boy in exchange for the doll. He was thrilled with the trade. The doll was a 1995 Jeweled Hair Mermaid Midge and

 

I still have her. She slowly rekindled my interest in dolls. Every so often I would add another. Then Mattel released the Silkstone line and I was enthralled. They were lovely and felt so solid and substantial. They also had wonderful fashions. A few years later the Fashion Royalty dolls by Integrity were released and once again I fell in love. These ladies were gorgeous, poseable and had some great back stories. I eventually managed to accumulate quite a collection – over 200 Barbies and approximately the same number of Fashion Royalty dolls.

I’m no longer an active collector for a variety of reasons but I still have most of my dolls. I think Tefnut is telling me it’s time to play with them again. I used to love taking photographs of them and posting them to various doll-themed boards I frequented. Maybe it’s time to get back into the hobby. In fact I think I might find a way to combine my dolls habit with another simple pleasure – Tarot cards.

My Tarot card hobby started off slowly. I had known about Tarot for several years because I was reading about witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism and somehow they just seem to go together. I eventually bough myself a few decks – the Arcus Arcanum Tarot, The Hallowquest Tarot and the Norse Tarot.

I loved the imagery and would look at them quite often but I realized I really didn’t know much about their meaning. As is my tendency, I found a few books about working with and reading Tarot cards such as Eden Gray’s books and Mary Greer’s Tarot for Yourself. These offered some insights but it wasn’t until I discovered the Comparative Tarot group on Yahoo that I really began exploring the world of Tarot (and Tarot card collection). Thanks to this group I eventually became a decent Tarot reader and an insatiable Tarot deck collector. Each deck seemed to open the door to a new world, a new realm of knowledge to explore. It’s what still keeps me interesting and active with the Tarot.

Last but certainly not least on my list of simple pleasures are music and tea.  I still believe listening to Led Zeppelin is one of the most most-blowing, sensual experiences in which I can indulge.  I also have a fondness for AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Melissa Etheridge and P!nk but S.J Tucker, Incubus Succubus, Laura Powers, Enya and Loreena McKennit also have a place on my playlist.   I have to admit that I have even created my own playlist of stripper songs in my head.  I should probably make that playlist up one of these days and just dance around like no one is watching (ad they probably aren’t).  If music can get me revved up then tea is what soothes me and calms me down.  Whether it’s a tradition blend like Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast or a seasonal blend like Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread, I find making a cup or pot of tea grounds me and helps me focus on myself for a few precious minutes.  I have learned to love the exotic and varied blends available in the tea world.  My favorites will always be black teas but I’ve also come to appreciate oolongs, especially the stronger, darker blends.  There are also myriad flavored teas out there for every taste (mine tends towards chocolate blends).

So how about you? Are there some simple pleasures you once enjoyed that you’ve lost touch with over the years? Why not try reconnecting with them and see if they bring some joy and happiness into your life.  I’m going to listen to some music and make a pot of tea.

Tarot Truth Tyr’s Day: The Chariot – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Chariot

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWP says: The rise to higher realms.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: While not the traditional Charioteer guiding (or being guided by) horses, this image shows a lovely woman riding a pair of wings. She seems to be at one with the environment around her and comfortable with where she is going. As she rises up on the wings, there is no fear or worry on her face. She appears to be calm and enjoying the experience. This card suggests that she is in control of the situation and knows where the journey will take her, or is just not concerned with the destination. She does not need to physically control the situation or impose her will. She will allow the wings to take her where she needs to go, secure in the knowledge that she is as one with her surroundings. She moves along her spiritual path with a sense of calmness and serenity. There is no need to force things to her will. She understands that her connection to the Universe and to the Divine will carry her to the correct destination.

There is a sense of giving oneself up to the journey and trusting that you are heading in the right direction. It is almost like surrendering to fate but without any sense of fatalism. This card symbolizes the need to let go of the need to control the situation and trusting in our connection to the Divine to raise us up. It reminds me of the Steve Miller song “Fly Like an Eagle” – “I want to fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me”. The wings are her spirit carrying her to the next level of her journey. And she trusts in herself and her spirit enough to give up control and allow it to guide her.

Tarot Truth Tyr’s Day: The Mover – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Mover

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: This is Epona, the pan-Celtic Goddess who is matron not only of horses but of passing over and through obstacles; she is also known as the one who opens the gates of the Underworld to the dead.
Keywords: Triumph; success due to initiative and self-discipline; obstacles overcome; self-mastery; being in control of one’s ccircumstances prominence; fame or greatness; travel; speed.
Reversed: Defeat or failure; ruthlessness; success at others’ expense; loss of self-control; addictive behavior; egocentricity; things careering out of control.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I really love this card (well to be honest I really love this deck). It is one of the gentlest expressions of the Chariot energy which I have seen. Epona is able to gentle the horses, she is connected to them on a deep, spiritual level. One gets the feeling that the relationship is not one of owner and pet but it is one of kindred spirits. Epona and her mares can gently trot around the area or they can race across the field at full gallop, manes flaring out behind them. This card is about self-control and self-expression; knowing when you need to trot and when it is time to gallop ahead.

Tarot Truth Tyr’s Day: The Chariot – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Chariot

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book says: This card reminds us of the underlying patterns of our lives and how these patterns will affect the pursuit of goals. The Chariot is a card of fortune in relationships. Its appearance generally suggests that you are attaining your goals through discipline and active participation but that you may need to examine more carefully the effect of your power on others. Or perhaps you have made achievements that were in the common good and you are experiencing a collective victory. The Chariot card impels us to discover the power within ourselves not by steamrolling those around us but by using our vital energy towards solutions that are inclusive, productive, and sustainable.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows the connection between all existence and the cosmic energies that wind their way through our lives. To some extent the imagery on this card reminds more more the Wheel of Fortune than of the Chariot. Its imagery speaks of wheels and cycles. But the silhouette seems to be dancing the cosmos into existence – this certainly suggests mastery and control. But rather than it being “power over” (as Starhawk calls it) this symbolizes “power within”.

The silhouette has a twelve-spoked circle over her abdomen. And it’s lines go beyond her and connect to the other circles and other planets shining in the cosmic sky. She seems about ready to step into the stone circle and dance. Something about this card reminds me of the song “Lord of the Dance”. The figure’s exuberance and energy comes across and she exemplifies how if we are able to master and control our own energies, we can create amazing and beautiful things in our lives. At the same time we are aware of our impact on the lives and the world around us and try not to charge blindly ahead, and damn the consequences. It is balanced and controlled, while still allowing the creative energy to manifest itself in our lives.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Lovers – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Lovers

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: The union of ourselves with the spiritual. The attainment of perfect union. Divine oneness. Integration. Total Harmony. Total Oneness. Perfection. Union with your spiritual self. This is Eros and Psyche – representing the union of the material (mortal) with the spiritual (immortal).

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks to me of a transcendent and luminous blending of the divine and the human, or the spiritual and the physical of masculine and feminine. Eros is a god, an immortal who falls in love with Psyche, a mortal. But before their love can be acknowledged both must undergo a transformation which allows them to appreciate and work with each other’s unique energies. Once they are able to combine and blend their energies and make the decision to commit to this union, their love creates the vibrations symbolized by the lovely fractal behind them. This card just gives me a feeling of peace and harmony. It takes love beyond the brief pleasure of a romance novel or a passionate affair and raises it to the level of a divine harmony. These two figures are more than just temporary lovers – their joining and their love transcends such mortal concepts as time and space. They are soulmates in the truest sense of the word – one is incomplete without the other. Each half needs to other to survive. Without each other they are incomplete and cut off from something vital. Being too focused on the physical without honoring the spiritual often leads to abusive and addictive behaviors and a materialism and need for things to provide a fleeting sense of fulfillment. Focusing too much on the spiritual and ignoring the physical creates a false dichotomy that tries to ignore how important the physical is to achieving wholeness and touching the divine. I read a quote once (although I can’t remember who said it) that we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Connecting the physical and the spiritual is the only way to reach divine oneness and achieve perfect union.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Lovers – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Lovers

Transformation Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: A choice needing to be made that will change the course of the seeker’s life. A new love or a deeper commitment to a relationship after making an important decision. The art of relationship and the integration of opposites. It can also mean a struggle between spiritual devotion and physical desires.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows the various choices and options we face when it comes to love. There is romantic love, passionate love, sexual love, spiritual love, familial love and self-love. All carry different connotations and different responsibilities but all are choices we make. We always have options and possibilities. A wise friend once told me that we always have a choice; we may not like the choices offered but we always have choices. This can sometimes be a hard thing to swallow. How often do we paint ourselves the victim of the piece with statements like “there was nothing I could do about it” or “I couldn’t have made a difference” or “I can’t do it”. When the fact of the matter is that we are choosing to perpetuate these conditions. We have the same choices in love. We can choose to create relationships that are shallow and non-demanding, never satisfying our deeper need for love and understanding. Or we can create unhealthy relationships where abuse and arguments about, letting us be the drama queen in our lives and gaining sympathy from friends. Or we can choose to devote ourselves to a higher love – seeking to deepen our connection to the divine but having no love for the poor, miserable creatures that surround us. Or maybe we only love those we interact with on a daily basis, justifying our unconcern for those outside our realm of existence with an “us or them” mentality. And sometimes, if we’re very lucky and open to it, we find a love that transcends time and fills our soul with beauty and peace, a love that helps us feel our interconnectedness to all life, in this and all times. And it is this love which may enable us to save the world some day. In fact, having just watched A Beautiful Mind the message of The Lovers is even more apparent. It is through his wife’s love for him and his love for her that John Nash is able to control, if not conquer, his mental illness. And his ability to see patterns allows him to realize that love is what connects us all.

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Lovers – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Lovers

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

LWB – Adam, Eve, the Serpent, Lilith in the foreground with wild beast & the screech owl. The Book of Ezekiel, screeching is ancient Hebrew for the word Lillith.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: To me, this card just shrieks (sorry I couldn’t resist) of choices and of our connection to the Divine. The serpent is offering Adam & Eve to make one choice while the winged being seems to be trying to prevent them from accepting what the serpent if offering. There is temptation and distractions all around Adam & Eve but somehow they still manage to stay together. Their combined energies are the only thing that can help them make it through. Even if they make the wrong choice, their united powers can help them survive it. That is the key to this card – even if we lose our connection to the Divine, to the Universe, we can find it again through love and through combining our various energies to accomplish the task. This love doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love, it means loving ourselves and our world and our spirit enough to keep struggling along.

I think we have all suffered the consequences of poor choices. But we are able to overcome these mistakes by holding on to our faith in ourselves, by marshalling our forces and forging ahead. If we let ourselves get too bogged down mourning and berating ourselves for making the mistake then we lose sight of the fact that we are part of the divine and can never truly lose that connections. We are part of the divine tapestry of the Universe and even death does not destroy our thread, it merely changes it. So our spirit will endure and triumph. But how we conduct ourselves in this life are a direct result of our choices. If we choose to let ourselves lose sight of our Divine connection, then that is our decision. We cannot hold someone else responsible. It has always seemed to me that one of the flaws of Christian theology is holding Eve (and all women) responsible for the ills of humanity. We all have the free will and choice to let ourselves suffer for this belief. If we are able to give and receive love, to accept the responsibility and consequences for our actions and to believe that “we are stardust” then we can never lose our connection to the Divine.